BALTIMORE — Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco accused Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin of intentionally interfering to stop Jacoby Jones from scoring on a kickoff return in the Ravens’ 22-20 win Thursday night.
After the Steelers scored to close to 13-7 in the third quarter, Jones broke free down the sideline but had to slow up because Tomlin was on the white stripe near the field of play. Tomlin, who had his back to play, was not penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct but Flacco believes he should have been.
“He was looking at the big screen the whole entire time,” Flacco said. “He knew where Jacoby was.”
It was nine months ago at the Super Bowl that Flacco took flak for suggesting to teammates that they should run out on the field to tackle Ted Ginn Jr. on the final play.
“That’s exactly what he just did,” Flacco said. “He pulled my move.”
Many of the other Ravens joked about the play after the game.
“I was wondering, did they credit him with the tackle on that?” coach John Harbaugh said. “I really don’t know what to say about it other than stuff like that happens.”
Jones, who was eventually pulled down from behind after a 73-yard return, doesn’t think Tomlin cost him a touchdown.
“It broke my stride but I still shouldn’t have got caught,” Jones said. “If I was him, I’d do the same thing knowing I was back there.”
Tomlin said he didn’t think he interfered with Jones.
“I always watch the returns on the JumboTron. It provides better perspective for me,” Tomlin said. “I lost my placement as he broke free and saw at the last second how close I was to the field of play.”
It was the second time this week that the Ravens had an issue with a coach getting in the way of a return. On Sunday, a New York Jets coach was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct on a 37-yard punt return by Jones.
- University of Maryland graduate
- Lives in the Baltimore area with his wife and son